As a small business, you don’t have an unlimited marketing and advertising budget, so you’re probably not reaching all the customers or markets you could. That’s where an alliance with a partner can help.
We’re not talking joint ventures or formal partnerships, but less formal relationships that can benefit both parties. Let’s say you’re a real estate agent; an alliance with a moving company would make a lot of sense.
Ask your customers who else they do business with; you might be able to find a natural partner that way. You may also be able to get an introduction from a current client, or at least drop their name as an icebreaker.
Once you’ve settled on an alliance partner, you need to put expectations in writing. Are you offering a package deal, say at a discounted rate, or are you simply referring clients to each other? And keep communicating with your partner to make the most of your relationship.
Adapted from Boost Your Customer Base & Sales with Business Alliances by Maryalene LaPonsie at Small Business Computing.